Send us news by text, start your message Globe News and your send photos and videos to 80360
Hoylake and New Brighton lifeboats rescue exhausted lone yachtsman
10:38am Tuesday 28th August 2012 in News
Hoylake and New Brighton lifeboats were launched on Saturday to assist a single-handed yachtsman who had got into difficulty in the approaches to the River Mersey.
Hoylake's all-weather lifeboat “Lady of Hilbre”, under command of coxswain Dave Whiteley and New Brighton's “Charles Dibdin" with Dave Hicks at the helm set off into rough seas and raced toward the position of the struggling sailor given by the Coastguard.
Both lifeboats arrived on the scene within minutes of each other. As the weather was deteriorating, it was decided to transfer a crew member from the Lady of Hilbre to the catamaran via the Charles Dibdin to assist the owner with lowering sails and connecting a tow, once complete a course was set for moorings at New Brighton.
Mr Hicks reported that at times, crews experienced ten-to15ft foot waves with wind speeds he estimated at Force 7 gusting 8 plus heavy squalls and very limited visibility.
The vessel was located approximately eight miles from New Brighton – in the Queens Channel, beyond the wind farm when the RNLI reached it.
Coxswain Dave Whiteley said: “Towing the vessel was a long, slow process for due to the wind and tide conditions, but progress was made and with New Brighton lifeboat in attendance, a mooring was reached, and with some difficulty due to the weather, the mooring was connected.' The owner returned to safety on the New Brighton lifeboat and both craft returned to station to be washed off and refuelled.
Graham Sale, operations manager at New Brighton, said : “When the casualty reached the station at 9:30pm he was shaken and exhausted by his experience and very grateful to both RNLI crews who had assisted him.
“This rescue was a tribute to the dedication of the RNLI volunteers who selflessly put themselves in harm’s way to assist others and a great example of team work between stations.
"I can but stress again how it’s vital to ensure that before setting off you know your limitations and are fully-conversant with the weather forecasts and build in appropriate contingency'
The rescued yachtsman, who has not been named, said later: “I cannot speak highly enough of the gallantry and dedication of the RNLI volunteers without whose assistance yesterday I may not have been here today.
“I found myself in conditions that I had not experienced before and although I had checked the weather forecast I had not made sufficient allowance for potential change and have learned that lesson the hard way.”